WRESTLING: SRO AT ITHACA
I have read with great interest SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's article on amateur wrestling at Haverford School in Philadelphia and note their excellent seven-year record (SI, Feb. 25). However, I would like to call your attention to the much better 11-year record of Ithaca High School, which has won 112, tied one and lost only two—one of these being their first meet.
Ithaca High is the perennial champion of northern and central New York and has beaten some of the best wrestling schools on Long Island and in Pennsylvania as well. Ithaca would certainly rate as among the best in New York. Why not come up and see one of our standing-room-only crowds?
GEORGE G. GYRISCO
Associate Professor of Entomology
New York State College of Agriculture
Ithaca, New York
WRESTLING: THE VIEW FROM THE HILL
I believe without a doubt that our team could without any difficulty clobber Haverford. The Hill School wrestling team is one of the finest teams in the East as far as high school and prep school teams are concerned. Not only is our team tops, but our wrestling setup is the best to be found anywhere.
GARLAND WILSON III
WRESTLING: 18 STRAIGHT FOR MEPHAM
Granted the Haverford School may have a fine record in winning 88 of 95 dual meets wrestled over the last seven years, but I doubt they deserved your article as much as does Mepham High School of North Bellmore, New York.
Over the span of some 20-odd years they have taken 264 of 269 dual meets. This year Mepham went through the season undefeated in 18 meets, including a victory over the Hill School, eastern prep champion for eight years.
GENE LA ROWE
WRESTLING: FORWARD WITH FAIR LAWN
I believe that Fair Lawn has had just as good a record in the last five years for its wrestling team. Last year they had a very good season and continued this year undefeated.
Fair Lawn, N.J.
CREW: THE NCAA BAN
In recent months you have given much attention to the attempts of the NCAA to clean up subsidization of college athletes, nodding approval as these scatter-gun artists have blasted the athletic programs at Washington, UCLA, USC, Texas A&M and others.
But in the interest of real justice, let us consider the effects upon athletes other than football players at these schools. A track man (or basketball or tennis player) is told, in effect, "You have done nothing wrong, but the football players are being paid. Therefore you cannot play in any NCAA or other postseason event." A truly amateur athlete suffers the same penalty as the guilty athletes who get the under-the-table loot.
The most recent—and flagrant—example of injustice from this shocking exhibition on the part of these "leading educators" is the ban upon Washington's crew, which now cannot compete in the IRA Regatta (SI, Feb. 25). Anyone anywhere near the situation knows that crewmen are never paid a nickel. The sport brings in no gate receipts. But, as one NCAA official was quoted, "If they had a volleyball team out there we'd ban them too."
The time has come to expose the NCAA bigwigs for the irresponsible martinets that they are. A university is made up of individuals, and anyone given the power to pass judgment upon its athletes should take steps to protect the innocent as well as punish the guilty.
RAYMOND F. RYAN JR.
CREW: THIS IS JUSTICE?
As an ex-Washington junior varsity bow oarsman, I find the NCAA's decision to ban the Huskies from the IRA Regatta absolutely incredible.
This race is the goal oarsmen row hundreds of miles a year to prepare for, the reason for rowing for many oarsmen I know. This unfortunate decision can hurt rowing badly.
I realize the NCAA has a number of rules it must adhere to, but, if they have any knowledge at all of the integrity and dedication of the Washington crews, surely they cannot call this decision a just one. Rowing has enjoyed a reputation as a sport of anonymity for the individual, where the personal satisfaction comes from knowing everyone has worked well and hard together. No other sport but running has such fiercely dedicated followers, pure amateurs and proud of it.
LIEUT. DAVID T. PRATT, USMC
TEBBETTS: KIND AND GENEROUS
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's article The Three Worlds of Birdie Tebbetts (SI, Feb. 25) was a wonderful portrait of one of the all-time greats in baseball history. It was interesting to see how he spent his two other lives.
I also think that this story is one of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's best word portraits and should not be forgotten. This story is of a simple American and expresses his kindness, generosity and character.
RICHARD F. KOENIG
TEBBETTS: HARSH WORDS FROM MR. BALL
You run one more article about Tebbetts, and I'll cancel my subscription, and I mean it! I'm sick of reading about how this arrogant fast talker is a great manager and gentleman! What did Tebbetts tell his pitcher to do to Joe Adcock last year? He yelled, "Stick it in his ear!" And several of the Braves, the umpires and Adcock himself heard it! The umpire warned Tebbetts about it, and Adcock had to be restrained from tearing Tebbetts apart after the game!
And who was it whose pitch skulled poor Don Zimmer last year, "accidentally" or not? A big league pitcher isn't that wild.
I hate that Tebbetts worse than I ever despised anybody! Write him up in sirupy tones again, and you lose a subscriber!
M. D. BALL
TEBBETTS: SHARED LOVE
Congratulations to Photographer John G. Zimmerman for his heartwarming picture of Birdie Tebbetts and his daughters. I keep going back to it.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have to share my love with the Cincinnati Redlegs this year.
IRON LIEGE: WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
I think your article on Iron Liege (SI, Feb. 25) is amazing. My friends and I all wonder how SPORTS ILLUSTRATED knew that Iron Liege would become a Derby contender. I also think the pictures were wonderful.
•There is always some luck in a memorable horse race or a memorable horse story, but an educated guess helps. Calumet is one of the world's great stables with such past champions as Citation, Coaltown and Whirlaway. The sire of the colt SPORTS ILLUSTRATED selected is Bull Lea, winner of the Widener, Blue Grass Stake and Autumn Handicap, and his dam is Iron Maiden. Among the 32 colts foaled that year at Calumet are Iron Liege, Gen. Duke, Barbizon and four other nominees for this year's Kentucky Derby, a truly amazing crop.—ED.
ROUND 3: ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT
How true, how true. Due to neglect on my part I failed to read the article on the Saxton-Basilio championship match till the day after the fight. Your story was so true word for word. I was glad I waited to read it, as I think it would have spoiled my evening knowing exactly what to expect. Thanks.
BOXING: THE SURVIVORS
Abe Attell (74) is not the oldest former boxing champion still living. Jack Root, now 80, former light heavyweight champion, appeared on TV a few weeks ago.
JOHN C. FULLER
Sun Valley, Calif.
•Right. And Jess Willard is 75.—ED.